Why are some postmen and women overweight? We could ask the same of any profession but given that their daily job is to walk for miles one would have thought that being overweight was something no postman or woman would struggle with.

They can walk an average of 10miles a day, upwards of 16 miles depending on location.

They would not be out of place in long distance walking events but some struggle to keep their weight down.

One ‘posty’ who was by his own admission overweight coming into the job dropped weight quite quickly. Going from a sedentary job to being a posty will increase calories burnt daily. But a few years later the weight had all, bar a few pounds, crept back on. Why was that?

The answer is that the body adapts.

If you were to put the body under the same stress/stimulus each day for a long period of time, it will adapt. It does this to try and become more efficient at it, to conserve energy. This is known as GAS. General Adaption Syndrome.

This has been proven many times over, but Hans Selye proved this theory in a great way. He took a lab full of rats and to prove the theory he gradually subjected them to an increased dose of poison which led to them developing a resistance to it. Some even remained completely unharmed at levels which would have previously killed them.

I’m not advocating anyone tries this with poison but if you’ve ever experienced a plateau with training or weight loss it’s most likely down to you needing to increase the stimuli or stress (train more/harder).

So why did the posty gain weight again?

All the while he didn’t change his nutrition, still eating heaps of food. Which meant that when his body adapted to the same stimuli (walking 10miles a day) he didn’t burn as many calories and the weight crept back on.

So the moral is, train and work hard but focus on the nutrition or it will get the better of you.

GI Joe writes for Llanelli Online. You can visit Joe’s website here.

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